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NCAA execs mulling holding semi-bubble for basketball tourney

 

Letran hopes to retain its NCAA title when the country's oldest collegiate starts its 96th season early next year.

Letran hopes to retain its NCAA title when the country’s oldest collegiate starts its 96th season early next year.

 

 

 

 

By WAYLON GALVEZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

If things improve, NCAA officials are entertaining an idea of holding a ‘semi bubble’ for the league’s Season 96 next year.

A source disclosed that school officials are now discussing the possibility of holding a basketball tournament in March 2021 under a strict health measures due to the COVID019 pandemic.

“Pinag-uusapan na yan kung papaanong gagawin, kung anong klaseng bubble bas aka anong mga health protocols, guidelines,” said the source, who asked not to be named.

The same source explained that the league is considering two bubble playing venues – one at Intramuros area and the other in Mendiola.

At the Intramuros area, Lyceum of the Philippines University and Mapua have expressed desire to host the games, while for Mendiola, both Arellano University and San Beda University are willing to play host.

Small venues, said the source, is ideal for the NCAA since it’s easy to disinfect following games. Bigger playing venues are not needed since mass gathering is still prohibited.

“Walang fans, tapos televised naman. So hindi kailangan ng malaking venues even for the Final Four or Finals,” said the source.

As for the billeting of teams, officials are considering housing the players, coaching staff and key team personnel at the school quarters with a neutral health official implementing a standard guideline to be approved by the league.

That set up, according to the source, protects the integrity of the protocols that assures safety against the coronavirus.

“Hindi school ang magi-implement, may safety officers na talagang tututok, magi-implement ng guidelines for the teams. Saka ang punta lang, from quarters to the playing venues and then back to the quarters,” the source said.

NCAA officials have rescheduled an online meeting this week with PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial in hopes to get information after the pro league held a successful two-month ‘bubble’ tournament for the Philippine Cup in Clark, Pampanga.

Aside from basketball, the league previously mentioned three other traditional sports for Season 96, namely volleyball, swimming and track and field, as well as cheerleading competition.

Meanwhile, aside from these four traditional sports, the league is also thinking of holding a ‘bubble’ tournament for demonstration sports 3×3 basketball at Inspire in Calamba, Laguna.

 

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